N.J. man wanted in killing of ex-girlfriend found dead

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Michael Eitel, 45, was wanted in the slaying of 39-year-old Carol Bowne.

After a three-day manhunt, the South Jersey man charged with stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death was found dead Saturday, police said.

Camden County prosecutors said Michael Eitel, 45, had hanged himself in the West Berlin home of a different ex-girlfriend, who "had been out of the home for her own safety." His body was found about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Eitel had been charged with first-degree murder after Carol Bowne, 39, was found with multiple stab wounds in her Berlin Township driveway Wednesday night. She died later that night at a hospital.

Bowne had an active restraining order against Eitel at the time of the assault, police said.

Eitel had violated the restraining order before, and Bowne had applied for a gun license and installed multiple alarm systems in her home, her friends said.

He was charged with first-degree murder Thursday, and police brought in U.S. Marshals and offered a $5,000 reward to help with the search.

The prosecutor's office said the other former girlfriend's home on Holly Drive in West Berlin had been searched Friday night, and they believe Eitel sneaked in sometime after that.

Police found Eitel after the woman called to see if it was safe to return home. They searched the home again and found Eitel dead in the garage.

Friends said Bowne, a hairstylist in Somerdale, started dating Eitel soon after her husband died in a motorcycle accident.

Eitel worked as an exterminator. According to court records, he was indicted in 2006 for aggravated assault with bodily injury and pleaded guilty in 2008 to a weapons offense. In 2009, he was sentenced to a five-year term. It was not known how much time he served.


jparks@philly.com 610-313-8117 @JS_Parks